Center for Ethical Leadership: Preparing To Scale, Exploring New Markets

The Center for Ethical Leadership, founded by Dr. Bill Grace in Seattle, designed and delivered successful youth, adult, organizational and community leadership development programs primarily in the Pacific Northwest. The firm retained Hosfeld & Associates to assist with the expansion of ethical leadership training and develop in workplace settings.

Preparing the Organization to Scale
After a strategic assessment of both the organization and the prospective market, we determined that staff capacity limited its ability to expand its work. Our first phase of work focused on preparing the organization to scale. We:
  • Initiated a campaign to capture the organization's intellectual property. Elements of the project included documentation of key training and educational materials, facilitators guides, and publication of the book Gracious Space, and its national promotion.
  • Worked with the Center to design its Affiliate Trainer program, which expanded capacity for delivering popular training programs.
  • Trained key staff in media relations skills, securing opportunities in both print and radio for them to comment on aspects of business ethics and ethical leadership.
During this phase of our work, the founder decided to return to his activist roots and transition from leadership. After his departure, Hosfeld & Associates facilitated a series of staff conversations to redefine the organization's purpose and the focus of its mission. We worked in partnership with the Center's Development Director to integrate marketing messages with the development case statement and messages.

Exploring New Markets / Sustainability Programs
After revising both its mission and purpose, the Center renewed its interest in expanding its services to workplace settings. Hosfeld & Associates designed and facilitated a joint staff/board process to research and explore new market opportunities that would be consistent with its mission to "promote the common good." This process included:
  • Supporting both staff and board to assume the entrepreneurial direction formerly provided by the founder
  • Providing a systematic process for identifying and qualifying the potential of new markets that fit the organization's mission
  • Conducting research on the needs of leaders in a selected market
  • Leading "action inquiry" projects to test receptivity in a selected market
Key outcomes of this work included the publication of "The Leadership of Sustainability," a white paper on the challenges of leaders bringing a sustainability practices to their organizations; and the 2006 Sustainability Confluence, a gathering to catalyze cross-sector sustainability collaboration in the Pacific Northwest.

As we concluded our work with the Center, staff and board leadership said the following:

"You were able to bring strategic insight to the organization as we debated how best to identify clients and the services that would best serve the organization's mission and purpose. Additionally, you were able to guide market based research into CEL's alignment within the Sustainability sector which led to unforeseen benefits in terms of outreach and new sources of funding."

Eric Greenwood, President, Board of Directors

"One of the particular gifts you bring is a deep-level understanding of marketing in the overall leadership of an organization. Many of your most powerful contributions to advancing marketing capacity at the Center were actually in the realm of organizational development...Your impact on our organization will continue to ripple through our work for years to come."

Dale Nienow, Executive Director